Russia, Ukraine, Social Media, And Your Mental Health

Russia and Ukraine issue, mental health
Illustration by writer

The Russia-Ukraine issue has peaked and is visible everywhere you see. Be it social media, news portals, TV news channels, or newspapers, the updates are everywhere. More so, there’s less of the update and more of a repetition of clips from Ukraine.

I checked Instagram last night and just kept scrolling past all of the content around the Russia-Ukraine situation. It took me to a point where I searched for meme pages I follow just to go and see something else. However, even those pages have memes around Putin, and videos of Ukraine. It is basically a situation you can’t escape.

I strongly think everyone should know about the turn of events and keep abreast with them, but I also understand the mental toll social media can have on people as everything is flooded with news of the war. Keeping up with the news is a choice, and I believe it should be that way only. You don’t need to be pulled into a vortex of hopelessness because some pages want ‘content’.

Russia, Ukraine, And Social Media

Russia Ukraine and social media
Representative image: Unsplash

Social media has changed a lot since the beginning. Earlier too I wrote a piece on how my friendly neighborhood Facebook is gone and has been replaced with an extremely capable echo chamber. And Instagram’s effects on mental health are also not hidden from anyone.

There’s also a question of rampant misinformation. There’s a solid chance that the videos you’re watching on social media are fake or from an older time. So if you want to stay updated with the events, follow trusted news sources and get updates from there.

Recent coverage shows that videos of an old Russian air show are being circulated as clips of the Russia-Ukraine crisis. Sadly the events are still escalating, so be prepared for gorier, more engaging, and most importantly more fake content to make its way to you.

Your Mental Health Matters!

Mental health
Image by writer

I’m sorry if this piece also reminds you of the tragedy of this time but it is reality too. So you find your social media feeds/TV/ YouTube recommendations flooding with such content at any point, take a break. We’ve gotten over worse and we will get over this too. But your health, time, and mental peace should be a prime concern too.

Peace is and should be the only answer. Especially in a civilization that aspires to do what we do and build what we have built. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, the world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.

In this time of turmoil, I’m not saying turn a blind eye, but blink. Blink a lot. Because unless you blink, your vision will blur with tears, and it’ll hurt to see. So watch the news when you want to. Otherwise, grab a book, binge a series, watch a film, and let your mind blink. It is a difficult time but it is also a time where we’re learning to live with a pandemic and not everyone is ready for it.

If you or someone you know is going feeling overwhelmed by social media, please consider sharing this article. And if at any point this seems too much, take a break, hug your loved ones, and pray this situation de-escalates before there’s more loss. Peace.

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